VANCOUVER, October 1, 2003 ( – Archbishop Adam Exner of Vancouver has been the target of nasty protests from homosexual activists outraged with his decision to withdraw Catholic schools in his diocese from a VanCity Credit Union banking program because of VanCity’s promotion of homosexuality.  The Vancouver Sun reports that Exner was threatened by an angry crowd of protesters yelling obscenities outside his window late at night.  “We have been in contact with Archbishop [Adam] Exner about the incident and talking to him about security measures he can take,” Vancouver Police spokeswoman Anne Drennan told the newspaper.  Although he would not comment on the advice from the police, Paul Schratz, a spokesman for the diocese, said, “Obviously this is a sensitive and delicate matter. The archbishop’s personal safety is involved. It’s been a very difficult week.  Mark Long, an official with Vancouver’s Gay and Lesbian Business Association, did not condone harassment of the archbishop “at his private residence or during a church service” but accused the archbishop of promoting hatred of homosexuals. “The archbishop’s actions are adding to the kind of bigotry and hatred already found in the schools,” he said.  Archbishop Exner defended himself in his own column in the Sun saying that after the banking incident, “I found myself accused of teaching intolerance and hatred of homosexuals – something contrary to Catholic teaching and my own convictions.”  He explained that “When the story became front-page news, we tried to make clear the Catholic moral principles behind the decision.”

The archbishop reiterated Church teaching on the need to respect all persons, including homosexual persons, avoiding “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard.”  He added: “At the same time, it is disturbing when people of faith are accused of hatred, intolerance and fascism for acting according to their principles. Homosexuals have a right to respect, compassion and dignity. But Catholics have a right to their beliefs and a right to act on their beliefs. Some of the public comment seems to deny us these basic rights.”  He concluded: “Finally, I believe that all people, homosexuals included, have a right to hear the gospel taught without compromise. Many homosexuals might have no interest in the path which the church shows them. However, they are entitled to know it, and I am obliged -and privileged – to teach it. . We will continue to teach in word and action what the church teaches. Disagree if you will, but recognize a principled stand for what it is.”  See Archbishop Exner’s column:   See previous LifeSite column:  Vancouver Diocese Exits Credit Union Program Over Institution’s Support for Homosexual Agenda Contact Archbishop Exner at [email protected] or Chancery Office 150 Robson Street,  Vancouver, BC V6B 2A7 Tel: (604) 683-0281   Fax: (604) 683-4288


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